blog

EVENTS

EVERY SATURDAY MORNING | I AM HERE Facebook Group
Saturday morning questions through May 2019
INVITATION

APR 5 – MAY 24  | I AM HERe Performance Workshop
8 Week workshop begins with live performance
Shine Collective & The Culture House
Taught by Lisa Barker
INVITATION

APR 28 | SUN 3 – 5PM
Paint n Sip FunRaiser w/ Jude Bischoff
Summer Thyme in Grass Valley
REGISTER HERE

MAY 12 | Mother’s Day

JUN 6 & 8  | I AM HERe Live Performance
Location TBD
by Lisa Barker
INVITATION

JUN 7 | FRI 5-7PM
I AM HERe Public Art Installation Reception
First Friday Art Walk
Robinsons Plaza, Nevada City
INVITATION

JUN 8  |  SAT 5 – 7PM
I AM HERe Collaborating Artists
Group Art Exhibition Reception
BriarPatch Coop Gallery
INVITATION

I AM HERe – Cassie Angle

I AM HERe explores how women find and maintain their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. I AM HERE is, ultimately, a community conversation- a way to connect, explore and empower.

Key participant Cassie Angle explored what it means to belong in Nevada County as a woman and expresses her perspective in this short video as part of the I AM HERe Art Installation.


 

I am Here
I am a Farmer
I am a Rancher
I am an Entrepreneur
I am a Nature Lover

I am a sixth generation Nevada Countian born connected to the land. After spending time living away from this beautiful county, I returned to raise a family and farm.  I am connected to the seasons deep into my soul; they are in my veins and my thoughts.  I am here to support women in agriculture and promote getting back to the land.

Cassie Angle
Owner, The Angle Homestead

 

Documented by its filmmaker Ruth Chase, with cinematographer William Edwards.
Made possible by a grant through Nevada County Arts Council from California Arts Council.

To learn more about I AM HERe

I AM HERe Fundraiser


 

#BelongingInNevadaCounty #IAmHere

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I AM HERe Group Art Exhibition

I AM HERe Collaborating Artists
Group Art Exhibition
BriarPatch Co-op Gallery
290 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley, CA

Opening Reception: June 8, 5-7PM
Exhibition Dates: June 7 – July 2, 2019

I AM HERE is pleased to present a group exhibition from the I AM HERE Collaborating Artists. Thirteen outstanding women artists reflect on their experiences of living in a rural community as it relates to their individual sense of belonging. Artists, Lisa Barker, Ruth Chase, Sheila Cameron, Sarah Clark, Sherri DauphinaisDee Anne DinelliJuli ElinFlo Fahrenheit, Kathleen Fenton, Jenny HaleLori Lachman, Terra Nyssa, Tara RoseJennifer Rugge, and Valerie Stuart have co-created the exhibition in order to explore and encourage others to explore what it means to belong here, especially as a woman.

The exhibition includes photography, painting, fiber art, interactive public engagement, video, collage, and multimedia works. QR Codes have been incorporated as an interactive feature to view artists perspectives, which are quite diverse.

The exhibit is part of the Nevada County Arts Council’s year-long I AM HERE arts initiative, led by Artist Ruth Chase and generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.

The I AM HERE initiative is making use of many different platforms to look at the question of women finding and maintaining their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. These platforms include not only this art exhibit but also social media, public art-making salons, a performance art piece, a short film, and an interactive I AM HERE Public Art Installation in Robinson’s Plaza (this May – June).

Group photo by Lori Lachman

 

#BelongingInNevadaCounty #IAmHere

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I AM HERe Public Art Installation Opening

I AM HERe Public Art Installation
A Community Collaboration -
 Robinson Plaza
May 18 – June 16, 2019

Opening Reception: June 7, 5-7PM
During First Friday Art Walk
132 Main St., Nevada City, CA

I AM HERe is a true community collaboration. Through several gatherings under the artistic direction of Ruth Chase, a group of local women arrived at a collective vision for an interactive public art installation, “I AM HERe.”

The key participants in I AM HERE are Cassie Angle, Elma Baker, Melinda Booth, Virginia Rose Covert, Kimberlee Evans, Susan Gouveia, Isis Indriya, Kayle Martin, Erin Noel, Elisa Parker, Shelby Richardson, Jennifer Singer, and Ginny Woods (known as  AniLa in her Buddhist practice). Together they explored what it means to belong in Nevada County as a woman and developed a vision for this art installation. Significant symbolism was used to lead the design, including charring of the wood to represent renewal and care for the earth as mother, as well as weaving to represent community and integration.

Once the symbolic vision was determined, Ruth Chase, Monica Hughes, and Sally Peterson worked together to design a structure that would embrace these ideas and symbology. The “I AM HERe” installation is made of local manzanita branches and Yuba River rock, and includes audio and visual elements along with two interactive features. The structure incorporates QR codes linked to videos of the key participants, and a social engagement opportunity for all who visit. All of the videos were filmed by Will Edwards and edited by Ruth Chase.

The exhibit is part of the Nevada County Arts Council’s year-long I AM HERE arts initiative, led by Artist Ruth Chase. This initiative was generously funded in part by California Arts Council through their Artists in Communities Program.

The I AM HERE initiative uses several platforms to look at the question of women finding and maintaining their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. These platforms include this art installation as well as social media, public art-making salons, a performance art piece, and a short film. There will also be an I AM HERe Collaborating Artists Group art exhibition at BriarPatch Coop from June 7 – July 2.

PRESS

Group photo by Lori Lachman


#BelongingInNevadaCounty #IAmHere

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I AM HERe – Growing Up Rural with Kimberlee Evans

It was through the I AM HERe project that I met Kimberlee and immediately felt close to her. Me, city slicker, her, educated farm girl. Yet we had far more in common than not. I sat with Kim at her home and we talked about what it was like for her to grow up in rural Nevada County as a woman.

 

Where did you grow up and how far back does your family go in Nevada County?

I was born in Anchorage Alaska because my dad was stationed there during Vietnam. I grew up in Nevada County from the time I was 7, other than going to college at Chico State. I am the fourth generation to live in Nevada County dating back to the 1910-1920s.


Would you call yourself a Rural Woman?


Without a doubt! I grew up on a dirt road where we worked and played through the weekend. I had no idea what it was like to have an assigned parking space and shared walls until I went to college.
 


What defines a rural woman in your opinion?

My rural roots are deep, but my wings have allowed me to become my unique self.

A rural woman means that we have bloomed where we were planted. We understand what we have, how to make it work for our lives and how to thrive. I think that there is a misconception that a rural woman is the one who stays home and cooks and cleans, but for me, a rural woman is someone who can see where she comes from and develop into what she was meant to be without forgetting her roots. I am so much like the women in my life who came before me.

So tell me, what is a day in the life of Kimberlee like?


There is never a typical day, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Such a fun question. My off hour’s job is taking care of my 10-acre ranch that was built out of love for family. This is something I am proud to own and make better to one day hand off to my daughter. Currently, we have a handful of farm animals that keep us busy and happy.


My life is rich and always on the go. Initially, the ranch belonged to my Grandparents. This is something I am proud to own and make better to one day hand off to my daughter. Currently, we have a handful of farm animals that keep us busy and happy.


For 13 years I have taught Middle School and youth sports at Lyman Gilmore Middle School. It truly feeds my soul to work with this age group. Since I was a graduate of Lyman Gilmore myself, it’s fun to be able to bring it full circle and give back to the community that gave to me growing up. 

I am always challenged to be better for every student, I am a mom, sister, teacher, nurse… the list goes on and on.

What’s it like to have a daughter?


I am a mom to an amazing 10-year-old daughter, She is a beautiful soul, with a kind heart and a lot of my strength and sass. McKinlee! She is the light in every day and challenges me to think differently, love harder and be the best version I can be daily.  She is a strong little lady, who wants to save the world one animal and one wrongdoing at a time, and believes that you can do anything you set your mind to. Being her mom is by far the greatest joy and honor I have ever been given. I look at her in awe everyday!

Kimberlee

Kimberlee, you are a key participant for I AM HERE. I AM HERE is about how women who find and maintain their sense of belonging in a rural county. Would you say there are any barriers to being a woman in this rural county? And do they still exist, what has changed?


This is a tough question. I was raised in this community, so there are many things that I accepted as it was just the way it was. I am part of the agriculture and 4H  community in Nevada County, working outside and raising our food and animals.
 The barriers for me have come from the “community” I associated with and the old ways of thinking.

My grandparents believed women shouldn’t work or waste time playing sports. Instead, I should be at home helping on the “homestead”
.

This was not the opinion of my parents, but it was absolutely that of my grandparents, and all of us received a lot of flack for it. It was only when I moved away to college where I noticed that this wasn’t the same everywhere. Do those barriers still exist, no, not in the same way?

There are two very different cultures in this community. The Agriculture community, and a more modern culture where diverse views are accepted, where the arts and a broader view of crafts are encouraged, and new ways of dealing with the environment and the land.

In order for me to not feel the barriers of years past, I have to be open, accepting, and a part of both communities.

 

 

Thank you, Laura Peterson, for editing help
Photos by ARB

The Value of Artists

A few thoughts I had about the artist I know and love.

Creatives and artists often don’t live in the mainstream. So whatever is “trending” now they are YEARS beyond that mindset.

They’re innovators, expanding the way we see and experience the world around us.

They have an essential role in healing, teaching, giving us new ways to think and observe everything, storytelling, stabilizing the economy, revisioning history, and bridging gaps.

Artists are the fiber of transformation, they are visionaries, and a precious resource for building our communities.

Documentary ‘Belonging’ featured at Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Laura Peterson                                                
Special to The Union
January 15, 2019

Ruth Chase by Lori Lachman 2018

In her film, “Belonging” local artist and director, Ruth Chase documents the stories of people living in Nevada County, including Shelly Covert, spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria, Nisenan Tribe.

The film is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council and funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program. Chase and Covert are scheduled to show the film during this week’s 17th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Nevada City and Grass Valley.

The pair are scheduled to participate in activities such as opening reception, art shows, fireside chats, coffee talks, workshops and film panels throughout the five-day environmental and adventure film festival that attracts filmmakers, change-makers, and activists from around the globe.

The two sat down and answered a few questions. Chase had this to say:

What inspired you to make the film, “Belonging?”

“Belonging” is about how people find a sense of belonging through the land, the earth, and the environment. I was initially interested in examining the unique connection people have with the land they were born on and if that connection changes when residing in a place other than their birthplace.

Growing Up in VENICE > Elaine Leslie

Elaine Leslie West of Lincoln Project Opening copy
“The Deeper We Go, The Brighter We Shine” painting with Elaine Leslie

Painted in collaboration with Elaine Love Leslie by Ruth Chase. The painting reflects her life story and the wisdom she has as a result of growing up in Venice, CA. This was the final painting in the West of Lincoln Project, completed in early 2017. Painted by Ruth Chase.

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Elaine with her two beautiful daughters in 2016

Elaine Love Leslie
b. 1969 | Sunset Ave.

There is a real gift in darkness. That’s why the moon disappears and we have seasons. The dark is necessary in order for the regrowth. The seed lives in darkness before it emerges into its full potential.

I was five years old in 1974. That is when my single mother, in pursuit of freedom, moved us from Colorado to our new home on Sunset Ave in Venice. The house was nothing more than a shack, and it was already the home to a thousand cockroaches. “I’m going to paint the kitchen yellow,” she said, and I remember hearing her voice crack with both bravery and fear. As a child, one of my favorite things to do was watch my mother be brave.

Venice was my greatest spiritual teacher, for there was sacredness there, an unspoken law of survival. You will know danger and become intimate with fear. You will learn your strength, for it will be called on often in the ritual of being a child in the wild.

I found God in everything and everyone. I heard messages of love preached by crazy people conversing with angels in the form of sand.  My home was a safe haven of lost souls. We welcomed all. My childhood was filled with nights of wine and weed, and conversations about art, spirituality, politics, liberation, music, literature, and madness. These were the sacred hymns that lulled my young bones to sleep; these were the songs of my youth.

 

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Elaine and her mom in 1976, Venice, CA

Beautifully written by Elaine Love Leslie

 

I AM HERE Questions

Every Saturday morning Ruth posts a question about our sense of belonging on the I AM HERE Facebook Group page. Each response informs her work, using social engagement as a tool for artmaking and engaging the community in conversation.

 

Ruth has been exploring ideas of belonging for over three years now, having a direct impact on her life and work as an artist.

The first year of BELONGING we asked, how do you find and maintain your sense of belonging through the land that we share? This year, with I AM HERE, we’re asking, how do women find their sense of belonging in a rural county? I welcome you to participate too.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

On February 16, the weekly question will be live and in person.

Belonging really happens best when we are with each other in person, men we need you too.

I AM HERE is the name of the second year of BELONGING. I AM HERE questions are meant to engage the community in a conversation about women and to foster a community connection.

I AM HERE is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council led by Artist Ruth Chase, generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.

FEB 16  | SAT 9 – 10:30AM
Saturday Morning Question – In Person w/ Ruth Chase
Summer Thyme in Grass Valley
INVITATION